Author Topic: New scriptwriter makes her debut  (Read 12724 times)

Lin

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New scriptwriter makes her debut
« on: July 12, 2015, 09:40:41 AM »
Hi folks

I thought I would try my hand at scriptwriting just for practice.  Never thought about doing it before and below is an idea I had, but to be honest I don't hold out any praise for myself on this one.  It's only for the local drama group and I've no idea where I am going with it.  

So for a first timer maybe you could advise if you have experience of writing scripts.

Escape to the Country (working title)  Light comedy 20 minutes.

Three women are sleeping in chairs in the lounge at a residential home. They are in their early eighties.

One of them wakes up

Annie: God,  it’s cold in here, why do they always turn the heating down in the afternoons?  (She rubs her legs)

Ginny stirs from her slumber at the sound of Annie’s voice

Ginny: What time is it?

Annie:  (squinting at the wall)~   That clock says half past three

Ginny rubs her eyes

Ginny: If my David were still alive, he’d get me a blanket if I was cold, but no chance of that here.

Annie calls for the carer

Annie: Marjorie! Marjorie!

No one comes and she tries to shout louder

Annie:  Marjorie!

 Ginny: Press your button, dear, sound the alarm.

Annie presses the button on her call system around her neck. Still no-one comes

Ginny:  Here have my blanket love, I don’t feel the cold like you do.

Ginny passes the blanket to Annie.

Annie: One of these days we’ll all escape through that locked front door and then they’ll know about it! They’ll coming running all right, they will.

Phyllis wakes up

Phyllis: What’s this about escaping out the front door?

Ginny: We could do it ya know and what would they care? They only want our money.

Phyllis: Aye, our money.

Annie looks thoughtful

Annie: Supposing we…

Phyllis: We what dear?

Ginny: Hang on let her speak, you always jump in too quick.

Annie: We can go for a walk and we don’t come back, we could have a bit of fun, make them run around after us for a change. I’m sick of being ignored and spoken to as if I am five years old.  

Phyllis: Yes I know what you mean, its very rude.  No respect these youngsters.  You two are a little bit crazy.  What if we get into trouble.  

Annie sighs

Annie:  A little bit of fun more like, it wouldn’t do us any harm, we could go to the funfair and take one last ride or go swimming at the pool.  Another one for the bucket list before we pop our clogs.

Ginny gives her friend a look of exasperation and then smiles

Ginny: Yes, lets do it.  



The lights fade and it’s now early evening after dinner.  The women sneak along the back corridor toward the outside. Phyllis tries the door lock

Phyllis: Heck, they left it open for the meals, come on let's go.  

Annie: Ready girls?

Ginny: I forgot my nightie

Annie: Too late now, we can go to Barclays Bank and draw some money out, I’ve still got one of those bank cards, at least they didn’t take that away from me. We can buy one.


Ginny: Whose going first?

Annie:  I think it should be Phyllis

Phyllis: Why me?

Ginny: You’re the eldest

Phyllis: Shh!  Someone is coming.

The women all stand back against the wall and listen to the noise of a trolley being wheeled along the floor below them.

Annie: We’re okay girls, go on Phyllis you first.

Phyllis: I don’t know about this, we could all end up in hospital. My daughter will have a fit when she finds out.

Annie nudges Phyllis through the open door.
Annie: It’s better than being here, I bet.

Ginny: It’s our last chance to escape, go on Phyl, off you go. We can make it to the bus in half an hour.  It will take us into town.

Annie follows behind with a small carrier bag in her hand and all three make their way to the public toilets across the road.

The women get spruced up and Ginny puts on her lipstick.  

Phyllis:  It'll be dark soon, where are we going to sleep?

Ginny: There's a posh hotel in town, we could stop there for the night and then maybe decide about the plan for tomorrow.  

Phyllis: oh I dunno about this, my arthritis is playing up again.

Annie: Stop yer moanin',  come on it's our last chance.  











« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 05:57:28 AM by Lin Treadgold »

Offline TheOtherAdrian

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 06:26:19 AM »
I like the idea. There could be some fun in that concept. One thing about the formatting though: It's a lot easier to read if you capitalize the speaker's names and add a few punctuation marks at the end of your sentences.

I like the first line. You manage to mention the time and also show that Annie is a complainer. Everyone knows an old person who always complains, so since it's comedy, I'd expand on that stereotype.

(She rubs her legs)
Unless you plan on directing yourself or it's important to the plot, leave out stage directions. Director and actress will figure out a way to show her chilliness.

Ginny stirs from her slumber
That reads like a novel, which I guess is where you're coming from. I think "wakes up" would serve you just fine.

Marjorie! Marjorie!
Good name ;-)

Ginny: Press your button, dear, sound the alarm.
Personally, I'd shorten this to just "press your button, dear". Everyone knows what the button does.

Still no-one comes
Obviously, since no new character shows up. So there's no need to explicitly mention it.

Ginny: We could do it ya know and what would they care? They only want our money.
Since escaping was Annie's idea, I'd give that line to her. By this point I feel like I know who Annie and Phyllis are, but I can't get a grip on Ginny's character. She sounds a little like Annie's mouthpiece. Maybe you could expand on that line about her late husband, have her live in the past. Then later on, she will try doing stuff she did in her youth without taking into account that her body doesn't work that well anymore.

Annie looks thoughtful
Stage direction. I'd take it out.

Ginny: Hang on let her speak, you always jump in too quick.
Yes! Have them bicker like the old stereotypical ladies they are!

Ginny gives her friend a look of exasperation and then smile
Ginny: Yes, lets do it.

That's kind of a weak ending. The scene sort of dribbles out, then cuts to black. Especially for the first scene, I'd try and end on some kind of punchline so people stay hooked. Or maybe end the scene on the three ladies agreeing that Annie's idea is stupid and they'll never, ever, ever do it, then Gilligan Cut to them doing it anyway.

The second scene seems like you were still brainstorming, so I guess there'd be a lot of editing there if you decided to pick up this project. Maybe have them almost be caught a few times, bicker about whose fault it is that it was that close, have a little scene where they try to help each other climb through a high up window and fail, only for the janitor to come along and politely hold open the door for them. Or you could at some point have a flashback to various earlier escape attempts, like a montage: The three ladies trying to climb through the window; the ladies in ridiculous disguises complete with fake mustaches; the ladies trying to drug the guard with their own medication; the ladies working on what appear to be plans for da Vinci's flying machine. Well, depending on how over the top you want the piece to be.

I think you've got a great start here, so keep working on it!
- Adrian

Lin

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 12:25:52 PM »
Thanks Adrian.  I'm a novel writer not a script writer, but I thought it might be fun to try script writing.  I suppose my novel experience should help me with this. We are doing a play by Peter Gordon, entitled Slim Chance.  It's a bit similar to this with a cast of seven of us.  Im playing Edna who paraphrases everything the rest of the girls say.

I notice Peter Gordon uses stage directions.  That's why I put them in.  But maybe there is a difference between stage directions and 'telling' the actor what to do. 

Thanks for the feedback.  It's all new to me so I appreciate the detailed comments.  Love the ideas too.  I will keep going in that direction. 

Lin  :D

Offline TheOtherAdrian

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 06:45:24 AM »
There's also a difference between a script for a stage play and one for a screen play. Most stage plays I know have varying degrees of direction written right in, while the same is not true for screen plays.

It'll be interesting to see where you go with this!
- Adrian

Lin

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 04:30:56 AM »
Now you've set me a challenge!  I have to finish my first three chapters and synopsis for an agent who said she would like to see it.  This was just an experiment but I will do it, because I think if it's worth doing for a stage play short, then I can present it to our producer for perusal.  Doing something like this might just put my name out there as well for my books. She is trying to keep the budget down and maybe I can help in that respect.  We are just a small amateur group doing our best.

Thanks for your support
Lin




Offline amy_films

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 10:17:10 AM »
Haha I really like where this is going :) I think Adrian highlighted a lot of valid points already so I tried to pick out anything that interrupted my reading flow and this what I got - Hopefully it helps!

Annie: One of these days we’ll all escape through that locked front door and then they’ll know about it! They’ll coming running all right, they will.
I don't see the relevance of pointing out the 'locked front door' - I think I understand why you thought to put it in but most people know the deal with nursery homes and that residents are under care/supervision - Just mentioning an escape would be enough in my opinion


Phyllis: What’s this about escaping out the front door?
Again perhaps just 'What's this about escaping?'


Phyllis: Yes I know what you mean, its very rude.  No respect these youngsters.  You two are a little bit crazy.  What if we get into trouble.
I felt jolted when I read this, very stop/start - maybe 'But you two are just crazy, what if we get into trouble?'

Annie:  A little bit of fun more like, it wouldn’t do us any harm, we could go to the funfair and take one last ride or go swimming at the pool.  Another one for the bucket list before we pop our clogs.

Ginny gives her friend a look of exasperation and then smiles

Ginny: Yes, lets do it. 

Following what Adrian said, perhaps Annie could influence Ginny more into going by referencing her past husband - Maybe they met at a funfair years ago?

Ill keep a look out for your latest :)

Lin

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2015, 10:42:36 AM »
Thanks guys.  Novice scriptwriter needs all the help!  LOL

Lin  ;D

Lin

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2015, 11:52:46 AM »
Okay this was just a quickie to see what you think of this concept

Three women are sleeping in chairs in a lounge at a residential home. They are in their early eighties.

One of them wakes up

ANNIE: God,  it’s cold in here, why do they always turn the heating down in the afternoons? 

Ginny wakes up.

GINNY: What time is it?

ANNIE:  (squinting at the wall)~   That clock says half past three.

Ginny rubs her eyes

GINNY: If my David were still alive, he’d get me a blanket if I was cold, but no chance of that here. He was a good husband I remember how we used to…

ANNIE: Marjorie! Marjorie!

No one comes and she shouts louder

ANNIE:  Marjorie!

GINNY: Press your button, dear.

Annie presses the button on her call system

GINNY:  Here have my blanket love, I don’t feel the cold like you do.

Ginny passes the blanket to Annie.

ANNIE: One of these days we’ll all escape through that front door and then they’ll know about it! They’ll coming running all right, mark my words.

Phyllis wakes up

PHYLLIS: What’s this about escaping?

ANNIE: We could do it ya know and what would they care, they only want our money.

PHYLLIS: Aye, our money.

ANNIE: Supposing we…

PHYLLIS: We what dear?

GINNY: Hang on, let her speak, you always jump in too quick.

ANNIE: Supposing we go for a walk and we don’t come back, we could have a bit of fun, make them run around after us for a change. I’m sick of being ignored.

PHYLLIS: Yes I know what you mean, its very rude.  No respect these youngsters.  You two are crazy, what if we get into trouble? 

Annie sighs

ANNIE:  A little bit of fun more like, it wouldn’t do us any harm; we could go to the funfair. Remember how it used to be, Ginny? That boy we met working the waltzers?

Ginny gives her friend a fiendish look.

GINNY: Ay, I remember all right, he put his hand up…

ANNIE:  Ginny! 

PHYLLIS: Up where dear?

ANNIE: Hush up now. Are we doing this or is one of us going to chicken out?

PHYLLIS: What’s this about chickens? I like chicken, we had it in the sandwiches yesterday.

Annie gives a look of exasperation.

ANNIE:  Escaping, what do you think?

PHYLLIS:  I like capons too.

Annie and Ginny smile at each other.

GINNY: Phyllis, are you coming with us?

PHYLLIS: Only if we can have a chicken dinner. It’ll never work, we’ll get found out.

ANNIE: Okay chicken it is, if only to keep Phyllis happy.

GINNY: Back door at seven then.

ANNIE: I wouldn’t mind betting they don’t find out ‘til morning.

GINNY: Yes, you’re right.

PHYLLIS: I think I would like an ice cream too.

Offline Magdiel

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2015, 10:20:21 PM »
I like the second draft a lot better than the first. There's something about having Phyllis provide comic relief that gives the scene a bit of a kick forward. It sets a light-hearted mood, which I think is what you were aiming for from the start.
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Tony_A20

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 10:38:24 AM »
To forum scriptwrters,

This is what a script looks like:
http://web.archive.org/web/20100525105437/http://www.foxscreenings.com/media/pdf/JamesCameronAVATAR.pdf

This is how to display your script on MWC:
http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=49023.msg867941#msg867941

A little research would find both.

Tony

Lin

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 11:21:59 AM »
I have some scripts from the BBC I will compare notes.  My Mum left them to me when she passed away.

Lin

Offline FrankieG702

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 08:45:43 PM »
I'm hooked in. Love this kind of thing.

Offline blanche

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 10:14:47 PM »
Such a short thread but a ton of information about screen plays which is one of my goals when I finish my genealogy research.  I learned more about screen plays in the last 15 minutes then what I have learned in my entire life. How lucky am I.


Thank you Thank you Thank you

Blanche

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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 11:53:41 PM »
Blanche, just thought you might like to check this out also.

http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=39962.0
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
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Offline Oceaxe

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Re: New scriptwriter makes her debut
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 05:30:06 AM »
Hi,

Quote
Ginny gives her friend a fiendish look.

Quote
Annie gives a look of exasperation.

I've written a number of radio plays, none produced though one work-shopped, and for what it's worth I believe actors hate instructions such as the ones I've quoted. Their attitude is that the writer writes the words and they act the part, instructions should be limited to essential directions, movements (I assume this is a stage play) and such like.

I don't suppose it's that important for an amateur production but I think it's important for you as a writer of drama to concentrate on the dialogue and leave the acting to the actors.

Good luck.
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